RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming sheriff is telling local residents that it's illegal to shoot dogs harassing wildlife after a private citizen killed a dog that was chasing wild game.

Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker says it's a common but mistaken belief that shooting dogs that are chasing game is legal in Wyoming.

Hornecker says he too thought that was the case. He learned otherwise after a dog was recently killed on the west side of the county and its owner pressed the issue.

Dog owners are responsible for controlling their pets and can be punished by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 if their dog is seen harassing, chasing or injuring big game.

Farmers are allowed to kill dogs harassing livestock.